Down the Rabbit Hole

denman-house-72pxI’ve just had a fantastic weekend at Denman College learning how to do hollyhocks with ribbon embroidery. Denman College is a wonderful old manor house owned by the Women’s Institute, they run all sorts of courses, historical, fitness, craft, music, I just do the craft courses (no surprise there!!) It’s about four hours away by train and of course I needed something to do during those four hours…

I’m way behind on my Down the Rabbit Hole quilt, it’s a block of the month quilt designed by Sarah Fielke in Australia. I’ve been really impressed so far, she releases the pattern and written instructions each month, but she also does a video which makes everything so much clearer. She also has a facebook page so we can see what everyone is doing, get ideas for colours and general encouragement. Block four has just been released but I’ve just finished block one!!!

This is where I was a few days ago;

In my defence I was trying to get my Splendid Sampler quilt finished first before I got too engrossed in this one, and then I had a charity one to make for the Hands2Help Challenge. If I’m honest though I was also procrastinating over the thought of making my own  1/4″ bias binding. I’ve tried making bias before with one of those little contraptions, they make it look so easy at the shows!!! I really wasn’t that convinced that it was going to be as simple as everyone made out…it was!

Sarah uses a hera marker to make the crease in bias, I’d never even heard of these before, but they are a nifty little tool, not only does it make a nice deep crease but you can also use it to hold the fold down when you’re ironing it, saving the risk if burnt fingers! Once I’d buckled down to it, it really didn’t take long to make the bias. I used two different shades of green to add a bit of variety.

I made the centre circle a couple of months back, there’s more about the process here. Having cut the background (slightly bigger to allow for fraying whilst working!) I arranged circles around the centre, these are the patterns for the flowers which go around the circle. There’s meant to be 26 circles as Sarah doesn’t like things too regular, I don’t do random so I’ve got 24! I could then tack the stems on all going straight out from the centre as instructed.

Having the video makes all the difference, Sarah is great in giving us little tips like matching the thread to the applique not the background and which way to hold the fabric ( sew towards you when doing applique). I used a miliners needle again and did tiny stitches all along the edge. I’m not sure mine were as tiny as they are meant to be, I seem to recall they should be bigger than a 1/16″, but not as much as an 1/8″, I reckon mine are a generous 1/8″”, but that still looks pretty small to me!

So what did I do on my four hour train journey? I stitched my stems down! I wished I’d had time to prepare a few flowers too as I ended up starting another project for the journey back…but more of that another day!

My next job is to applique circular flowers on each stem, each with a centre, so I need to get prepping whilst this quilt is still in the portable stage!

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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7 Responses to Down the Rabbit Hole

  1. Maria says:

    Your progress on your Down the Rabbit Hole quilt is looking great! I love the fabrics you’ve chosen. Denman College sounds a great place with many interests catered for.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. KerryCan says:

    This is a very involved quilt! You have some ambitious projects on your list right now!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. CurlsnSkirls says:

    Interesting quilt project! But am hoping we hear & see more about your Denman weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’d love to see your Hollyhocks. Me and mum had our eye on Denman, waiting for a tambour embroidery class…. I don’t think I’d go alone though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • craftycreeky says:

      It’s the first time I’ve been totally on my own, I’ve been on a few federation visits and I took my daughter for a clay sculpture course once. It’s the only place I know where you can go up to any group at meal times or in the bar and join them, there is already that link of WI there so it’s easy to start conversations. There was actually another Federation visit there at the same time which I thought might make it a bit clicky, but not at all. Go for it, you won’t regret it!


  5. sewchet says:

    Wow, that must be some course if it’s worth a four hour train journey, and what a lovely historic building in which to feel inspired. You may be behind on the blocks, but not rushing is paying off as this one’s looking great.


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